[b-hebrew] VERBS. Was " masorete pointing v'sLLX transliterations"

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Jul 26 08:15:37 EDT 2005

On 26/07/2005 10:29, Read, James C wrote:

>Another observation I would like to make, which I feel should be of 
>interest to a linguist, is that many scholars seem to put far too 
>much emphasis on grammar. Languages are not dictated by grammar but 
>by meaning. Children do not learn languages by grammatical rules 
>but learn the phrases which convey their thoughts and feelings.
>Grammar is but a set of observation, a summary of patterns which 
>a language seems to follow. ...

James, you have expressed well my fundamental objections to Rolf's 
linguistic method. He, like many other linguists, tries to set up a 
fundamental distinction between semantics and pragmatics. And this 
distinction is useful as a guide, as a pattern which languages seem to 
follow most of the time. But language is a living and dynamic thing 
which does not consistently follow even the most fundamental rules. 
Indeed, it is the exceptions when these rules are broken that "have much 
more fundamental importance if one truly wishes to understand the heart 
and soul of the language."

Have you studied Relevance Theory, as developed by Sperber and Wilson 
(the latter of UCL)? I think it would be very useful for your work.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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